Burlington school budget to raise taxes 10% - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Burlington school budget to raise taxes 10%

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

Burlington property owners will face a 10 percent tax increase under a school budget headed to the March Town Meeting Day ballot.

The school board finished work on the budget Tuesday night, trimming about $500,000 from the initial proposal. The nearly $67 million spending plan reflects a 4 percent increase in spending that will translate into a 10 percent tax hike.

School officials say most of the increase is tied to a new teachers' contract and other rising costs, otherwise programs have been level-funded or trimmed. Some residents voiced concerns about the cuts. Others say they can't afford the tax increase.

"From a retiree standpoint, you can talk about going up 10 percent year after year after year. I can only keep up maybe a percent and a half a year. I can't sustain this forever and ever," said Ed Wilbur, a Burlington taxpayer.

"Kids only have one chance at an education. And when we start cutting this stuff it means that they are missing out," said Kathy Olwell, a Burlington parent.

The proposal now goes on the ballot for approval by voters in March. Voters have regularly supported Burlington school budgets, despite increases that have outpaced inflation. Next year's proposal is 90 percent more than a decade ago.

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School budget up for debate in Burlington

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